When drawing up a commercial cultivation business plan, equipment expenditures can run up very quickly. Often, people new to indoor growing don't know how to separate essential equipment from superfluous supplies.
Some items that seem necessary might be a drain on operations. Conversely, there are some products every indoor cultivator shouldn'tscrimp on in the grow room if they want a fantastic ROI.
Essential Indoor Grow Supplies — Equipment Requirements For Commercial Indoor Grow Rooms
New cultivators must carefully evaluate their commercial indoor growing system to ensure they're maximizing their potential profits.
Lighting Your Indoor Space — Are LED Grow Lights The Right Move?
Cultivators have two options for lighting an indoor cultivation space: HPS bulbs and LEDs. Of these two, LEDs rank higher in virtually every category. True, LED panels often cost more upfront, but they pull less energy andproduce more powerful lightwaves.
LED panels have a longer lifespan than HPS, so indoor cultivators don't have to worry about constantly buying new units and setting them up. Plus, cultivators don't have to tell their employees to constantly change breakable HPS bulbs.
Another benefit LEDs offer is their lower heat output, which makes it far easier to control your room's ambient temperature. High-quality LED models come equipped with heat sinks to further dissipate the heat created by these units.
If you need more convincing that LEDs offer a greater ROI versus HPS, please check out our previous comparison article on "HPS vs. LED Grow Lights." You could also read our guide on "How To Choose A Commercial LED Grow Light" for more information.
"Suffocate" Stagnant Air With A Prime Ventilation Strategy
When you grow plants indoors, you need to replicate natural airflow to avoid the risk of pathogens like mold. However, you shouldn't run out and buy humongous AC units to blast air throughout your space.
In fact, buying oversized AC devices for your space can have a bad effect on your environment. Huge AC units often destabilize temperatures because they work way more than you need them to. Please find an AC unit that fits snuggly in your space to avoid this risk.
You should also ensure your space has an advanced filtration system to trap potential toxins. Not only will carbon filtration keep your air clean, it will help remove pungent smells from your work environment.
Lastly, please remember to equip your space with plenty of dehumidifiers. Temperature and humidity go hand-in-hand, but the airflow from an AC unit isn't enough to control your space's relative humidity. Only dehumidifiers can absorb the water your plants inevitably give off via transpiration, thus reducing the risk of mold.
Are CO2 Burners Necessary For IndoorGrow Rooms?
Talking about ventilation, whether to leverage carbon dioxide is always risky and profitable in all kinds of indoor cultivation. Honestly, CO2 burners aren’t a "luxury item”, but you must run a cost-benefit analysis beforehand.
Extra CO2 in your grow space can significantly increase your total yield and production speed— by up to 50% — but there is a limit to how much CO2 different plants can absorb. You also have to factor in how much extra you'll need to spend on energy to run CO2 burners. Not only will the CO2 devices cost extra, but you'll need to increase your room's ambient temperature to ensure your plants absorb all that CO2; which will also lead to an extra cost and thoughts in your ventilation system.
It's challenging to say whether CO2 generators will be a worthwhile investment without specific details on your crops and expenses. While you shouldn't put CO2 devices at the top of your priority list, be sure to run a few cost analyses to see if they may significantly increase your yields.
Always Invest In Irrigation & Nutrient Delivery Systems
When you're running a commercial grow operation, you need to maximize the efficiency of your staff's time. One easy way to free up your employees is to put your watering and feeding schedules on "autopilot." How? Look into irrigation and fertilization!
These automated systems will deliver a pre-set amount of water and nutrients to your plants. These features will free up your staff's time and eliminate the risk of human error when watering and feeding your crops.
It's also advised that indoor cultivators look into high-quality pre-mixed soil formulas. While every pro gardener has their "favorite" blend of fertilizers, it's simpler and more cost-effective to use a pre-mixed growing medium.
You can add amendments to your soil if you feel they'd be helpful for your crop, but you shouldn't waste precious time developing a proprietary "living soil" formula. Start with bulk pre-mixed soil and only add fertilizers later on considering your strain's specifications.
Just double-check that the equipment you're investing in has a way to scan for pH concentrations. Even professional cultivators are guilty of downplaying the importance of maintaining healthy pH levels. Often, nutrient deficiencies are caused by abnormal pH levels, so you need a consistent way to monitor this metric in your soil.
Enjoy The All-Seeing Eye Of A Centralized Control System
Related to the above points, you should set aside some capital for a high-quality control system. This technology will give you the most accurate read on the temp and humidity in your indoor cultivation space. At different stages of your plant's growth cycle, you should use this system to adjust the environment in a chosen area.
Good control systems should also alert cultivators when environmental parameters are out of whack. These automatic alerts ensure you will never let your grow rooms sink to "subpar" standards.
Though some control systems have already taken their place in smart management over indoor cultivation, a fully controlled automatic growing system is the foremost topic to many grow equipment manufacturers now. It determines whether they will be able to step into the future era. Mars Hydro has made their first attempt at a smart grow system for growers to experience intelligent indoor growing.
Is It Better To Use Seeds Or Clones For IndoorCultivation?
The whole point of an indoor grow space is to harvest plants. So, you will need to start with plant genetics in your cultivation rooms. However, there's considerable debate over whether it's more cost-effective to start with seeds or clone clippings.
Every cultivator will have a different opinion on which starting medium provides the best ROI, but seeds tend to cost less upfront. Yes, it will take a few extra weeks to use seeds rather than clones, but most cultivators say there's no significant difference in yields at harvest time.
It's also worth mentioning some cultivators "split the difference" by purchasing both seeds and clone clippings to start their harvest. Since the clone clippings have a head start, you may be able to maximize your yields by starting with plants in different stages of development.
The starting method that works best for you will depend on your grow space and your projected harvest schedule. Be sure to consider the expected ROI with seeds versus clones in your grow rooms to develop an actionable strategy.
Safety & Sanitization — Crucial Tools For Your Employees
It's never a good move to skimp on safety equipment for your employees. In addition to protective gear like hardhats and UV-blocking glasses, you must invest in plenty of sanitization stations in your grow rooms. Please ensure you have a healthy supply of disinfectant wipes, face masks, and gloves for your staff to take advantage of.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, companies must do more to protect employees from illnesses. However, sanitization equipment isn't just significant to deter disease transmission among humans. It's incredibly easy for microscopic particles to transfer from employees to your precious plants. Being extra cautious with sanitization ensures your plants will reach maturity without any diseases.
Don't Forget About High-Quality Harvesting Tools!
It's common for cultivators to focus all of their attention on the equipment they need for growing their plants. However, please remember the "growing process" doesn't end at harvest. Cultivators need to consider the best trimming tools to help their staff harvest the most usable plant material quickly.
Today, cultivators can choose from manual and machine trimmers. Obviously, manual devices increase time and labor costs, but they tend to reward cultivators with less plant waste. While machine trimmers save time and money, they tend to remove excess plant material that may cut into your ROI.
Please also remember to prep your drying and curing areas with storage containers and sturdy racks. While these supplies are easy to overlook, they're essential to avoiding a post-harvest disaster.
Do You Have "Indoor Grow Equipment Anxiety?" — Speak With Mars Hydro For Expert Guidance
Putting together an equipment checklist is the most stressful part of starting commercial indoor cultivation. There are many potential ways to configure your space, and it's hard to know how different devices will contribute to your ROI.
If you're straining to determine how to equip your indoor cultivation space, you should consider reaching out to the Mars Hydro team. As professional LED grow light and grow tent manufacturers, we have a solid track record of helping indoor commercial cultivators make the most out of their space. One of our staff members would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the benefits of retrofitting your space with Mars Hydro's devices.